I’m drawn to bands who are on the cusp of something great. Wouldn’t you want to be in a spot just right before the big bang happened? I’d want to see that part where the universe all fell into place, to understand why we’re all where we are now.
Like a kid in a carnival standing in an open field, looking up, waiting for the fireworks. The moment I see the light, I’d want to know how the fireworks were made.
That’s how I feel about WilaBaliW.
You see my dad ran this fireworks company for most part of my childhood. Sometimes he’d sew five-stars up into a chain himself, or experiment on gunpowders to make the right mix. I rarely saw this, as it was too dangerous to hang out in his workspace, but I saw them tested and sold to a lot of people. In one of his experiments, my dad made a hybrid of a really powerful kwitis and a baby rocket and named it after me.
If he was a musician, it was his song and it was a hit. Embarrassingly, it was called – Niña Skyrocket.
WilaBaliW is sort of like this, geniuses currently experimenting, brewing the right formula. The band has gone through line-up changes, with Queso’s Robert Dela Cruz and bassist Francis Magat had gone their separate ways, replaced by Greyhoundz’ Niño Avenido and Mr. Bones and The Boneyard Circus’ Jesso Montejo.
They’re still a young band who just so happens to have these amazing well-known members from different bands. They are also an underdog representing a big faction of the music scene simply trying to get out of the shells that grew on their backs through the years.
WilaBaliW has nostalgia going for them and against them with Ian Tayao being the frontman of iconic band Queso. Fans clamor for songs from the old days. WilaBaliW started when Queso disbanded. How WilaBaliW is coming to terms juggling the two bands can be quite a conundrum. It’s a challenge that one can’t live without.
I was at WilaBaliW’s recent jam and witnessed that creative process unfold. Watching them is always a learning experience. This session missed guitarist Louis Isok who was out sick. It’s quite a sight, and sound to see how one can create something out of nothing. I try my best to keep up with this band who is mostly obsessed with technical prowess in their compositions, which I think is a way of just proving something to themselves. With almost two decades of success set by their counterparts, this 6-year old band knows they have a lot of catching up to do. For the past two years, WilaBaliW has been rehearsing and practicing and writing non-stop making sure their plans and preparations are done with solid precision.